Hat tip to soulandfunkmusic.com for digging this out of the archives; an interview with Keith Nash about the Make Believe album. (My favourite Slave album, for the record)
Keith Nash: Slave as a group have always been extremely well supported in U.K. so we're not exactly down in the mouth about coming back! The 1984 visit was real good for the band and we're hoping for a repeat performance when we come back. We actually played some dates in Germany last year which were also very good but there's always something a bit special in playing in Britain.
We're also looking forward to showcasing some of our more recent stuff. The public always expect a fair share of past Slave hits and, of course, we're always happy to include those. But we are a contemporary group first and foremost and do not want to rely on former successes to maintain our status. We fully intend to progress and add to the Slave story rather than simply standing still.
B&S: Positive stuff indeed and we all hope the visit is as successful and as entertaining as expected. On the vinyl front, the new album has received less than 100% enthusiastic response from U.K. observers, although the track "Juicy-O" has been selected for special mention and remains the obvious selection for single success.
Keith Nash: I can understand some of the reservations that people might have about the new album; it's all part of the progression and the need to stretch out. Whilst we have no intention of wandering too far from the basic Slave sound, we do need to develop musically and attemp at least a few new routes.
If you need a comparison I guess I would use Cameo as an example of the right type of change internally. Having said that, however, the new album is certainly not being ignored by our more traditional fans here in America. Sales and black radio exposure is good and we have no problems on that front. Potential crossover success is always an unknown quantity until it happens.
B&S: Make Believe is Slave's second album shot for Ichiban, the first being "Unchained At Last" which has a "slight" emphasis of course on freedom from the dreaded "system"?
Keith Nash: That particular title wasn't so much an indictment of Cotillion but more a positive statement of our own creative freedom within the Ichiban setup. As an entity, Slave had always been involved with the productions with Jimmy Douglas as co-producer, but the deal with Ichiban provided us with total control which, of course, was very appealing.
John (Abbey) is always willing to give us the benefit of his experience and, naturally, we're always pleased to have that input but essentially what emerges from the studio sessions is what Slave want to emerge. We stand or fall on that but we're happy to have it like that.
The other very positive thing about being with a smaller independent label is the priority and concentration they're able to give you. The Ichiban roster is of sufficient size to permit that state of affairs. Without the marketing clout and vast sums of promotion money available to the majors, the emphasis with smaller outfits like Ichiban has to be on the quality of Product.. . which suits us fine.